Netflix to make film on viral grandma who invited a stranger for Thanksgiving

The real-life story of Jamal Hinton and Wanda Dench will soon feature in a film called 'The Thanksgiving Text'

Jamal Hinton and Wanda Dench have been celebrating Thanksgiving together since 2016. Photo: Twitter/ @Jamalhinton12

It’s a tale that’s been shared hundreds of times online and has elicited many tear-jerking responses. And now, people will get a chance to watch Jamal Hinton and Wanda Dench’s story unfold on screen.

Netflix has just greenlit a feature film on the pair's unlikely friendship, which began when Dench, a grandmother from Arizona, accidentally sent a text to Hinton, a high school senior, and invited him over for Thanksgiving dinner.

Hinton, who instantly knew the accidental text couldn’t be from his own grandma, jokingly replied: “You not my grandma. Can I still get a plate tho?”

Dench replied: “Of course you can. That’s what grandmas do ... feed everyone.”

It culminated in a Thanksgiving meal in 2016, a tradition that's stuck – the two recently enjoyed their sixth Thanksgiving dinner together. The duo are now famous for taking pictures of their annual dinners and posting them online, a tradition Twitter users look forward to every year. The images amass thousands of likes and retweets, and have grown their individual followers, with Hinton having 132.6K followers and Dench gaining 26.9K followers.

Over the years, the Thanksgiving table has changed, with Hinton’s partner also joining in the celebrations. Last year, news of their annual Thanksgiving dinner was even more poignant than usual, after Dench’s husband, Lonnie, died of Covid-19 complications in April.

Still, the bond between Hinton and Dench remains stronger than ever. “I can't even explain how much joy I had, having good food with my favorite company," Dench told CNN. "We laughed, we had a great time, we reminisced about the past. It was so good for all of us."

The heart-warming story will now unfold on screen, thanks to Netflix. On December 3, Hinton and Dench took to Twitter to announce the new movie The Thanksgiving Text.

Netflix responded with a Tweet saying it "can't wait to see this story brought to life!"

The film will be written by Abdul Williams, who penned Lottery Ticket, The Bobby Brown Story and The New Edition Story.

“We are excited to share our story with the world," Dench and Hinton said in a joint statement. "We hope it inspires more people to reach out and make connections that they wouldn’t ordinarily make."

Updated: December 4th 2021, 7:51 AM